Rumours have been circling of a Grace and Frankie spin off, and actress June Diana Raphael, has confirmed its possibility in a recent tell-all interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Raphael, who plays the character of Grace’s (Jane Fonda) daughter, Briana Hanson in the popular US comedy series, revealed she had been the one to suggest the idea of a spin-off focused on the reality of being alone as a middle-aged woman.
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According to Good Housekeeping, Raphael had been sitting on the idea for a number of years before finally working up the courage to suggest the enticing ‘spinoff’ proposal to the Skydance producers who suggested she pitch it to Grace and Frankie film writer, Howard Morris.
“Fans will see that the way the show ends, there’s more to say about Brianna’s story — in the same way that the original tackles what it means to be in your 70s and 80s, I think exploring what it means to be a middle-aged woman [like Brianna] without children or a husband is equally exciting,” Raphael told The Hollywood Reporter.
When asked by the publication about the concerns that “precipitated” her “desire to write more of Brianna’s story”, Raphael admitted she felt Hanson’s story was unfinished and there was a problematic stigma that could be addressed in the potential spin-off.
“It was actually around season four or five that I started thinking of these other stories for Brianna and really itching for more,” Raphael revealed.
“I felt like I had more to say, and that I wanted to sink my teeth in in a bigger way. I’m so happy with everything I got to do on Grace and Frankie, but I just kept thinking that her story wouldn’t be done.
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“There’s still a stigma around women who do not have kids and it brings up a lot for people. So I approached [the producers at] Skydance asking, “Hey, is this something you’d ever want to do?”
Raphael revealed she and film writer Morris delved into the specifics of how the potential spinoff would look and how Hanson’s character would best be portrayed.
“We spent months, honestly, just talking through the idea that women’s currency is devalued to our culture as we get older, and a lot of times it’s the opposite for men,” she said.
“And we talked about what Brianna is potentially losing and gaining as she ages alone, and how a woman who is alone can create a deep fear in so many people. Once we felt we had the pilot story, we spent the next few months writing it.”
It was recently revealed that Netflix’s Grace and Frankie season 7 would be it’s last, leaving fans of the hit show heart-broken by the news. The potential new spin-off could see the shows fans enjoy the series through new ‘middle-aged’ eyes; a concept that Raphael only hopes fans will be equally enthused about.